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Member Service improvements


giffgaff is growing... very fast, which is fantastic news. I wish I could share with you exactly how well we're doing but as we've said before it's too commerically sensitive to reveal our exact numbers. Suffice to say we are well ahead of where we thought we'd be at this stage.

However success does bring with it its own set of problems. One of those is that in last 3 months we have seen a very large increase in the volume of account related queries, and port in requests - due to all those new members coming on board.

Port in requests in particular are very manual and time-consuming to process. This has put a lot of pressure on our valiant Member Service agents - who deal with both queries and ports.

In addition, new Ofcom regulations are about to come in (from April 11th) which require all mobile companies to process port in and port out requests twice as fast as they do currently. Again, this is great news for giffgaff (anything that makes it easier and faster for customers to leave mobile compnaies that are failing them is all right with us). But it does mean we have to make sure we can deliver against these timelines.

So to maintain service levels, and fulfil our obligations to Ofcom we are making some improvements to our Member Support operation.

1) Port in process improvements. From April 11th new Ofcom regulations  mean that port in requests must be completed within 1 working day (currently it is 2 working days).

In order to make sure we can do this we are bringing on a small team of new agents who will focus exclusively on ports.The new thing for us is that these agents will be based in India. Both the India and the Derry based agents are provided by the same supplier. So we have complete consistency in approach and management between the two sites. I have personally visited the team in India and can absolutely vouch for their commitment to customer service and professionalism, I look forward to having them join our extended team.

The main reason for locating these porting agents in India is cost. As a low cost business giffgaff needs to keep its operating costs low, and India is a cheaper location than Derry. However we also get a potential benefit from the time difference. India is 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK, so as a unified team it means we have the option of having a working day that starts at 4am UK time. This means we have greater flexibility to turn ports around in the required timeframe.

Having the Indian team focus exclusively on ports also means that the Derry team can focus on account queries - which are typically more complex individual cases which require a deeper understanding of giffgaff operations. To head off a question that I'm sure some will ask... this does not mean that we are looking to move the entire support operation to India in the future. We may expand their remit beyond ports by the end of this year, but we will always keep the Derry team as we recognise that service is not all about cost. There is a benefit for members in having agents who are closer to the core business, and that will not be compromised.

We are currently setting up and training the Indian team on the port process. The first day of porting being handled by the Indian team will be April 4th. Once they are all up and running I will introduce our extended team in the same kind of way we did last year.

2) More agents in Derry. Since we introduced the agent team to the communuity at the end of last year we have increased the Derry team by 30%. Given the recent continued increase in our customer numbers we are going to increase the team again by another 20%. Our new recruits will start in the first weeks of April, and I'll introduce them when they are on board.

3) Longer 'opening times' for agents. We have looked at the trends of when account queries are submitted and are changing our shift patterns for Derry agents, to better cover the periods of peak demand. This also means that we can be more efficient - which in turn means we can extend the overall the time the agents are online.

From Saturday 26th March Derry based agents will be available until 10pm seven days a week (currently they finish at 7 pm).

These changes will mean that we can keep giving members a brilliant personal service even as we grow rapidly as a business.



Just read about the agents now available for a lot longer. Keep up the improvments, will help alot considering the problems with payments and site issue before.


Look a network that cares! i need to look into this more and there rates are ok. Not great but ok. They dont do somthing similar to a goodybag. Its a shame GG dont try and be a big greener! Its amazing to see that: 


  1. Annual greenhouse gas emissions from the worldwide mobile industry are equivalent to the national output of a country the size of The Netherlands and more than the airline industry – That’s 245 Megatonnes of CO2 emissions. [Source: GSMA Climate Group: Green Manifesto November 2009]
  2. Seven out of ten SIMs, sent out FREE, are thrown in the bin because silicon chips are considered by most people to be disposable.
  3. Two thirds of the mobile phone industry’s carbon footprint is the network.

It is a pity to hear that giffgaff is outsourcing to India, unless it is done ethically...


The main reason why I joined giffgaff is because of their ethical policies as well as the low cost (they are among the 5 top ethical mobile phone networks according to Ethical Consumer Magazine, see here:


It is good to pay less for your calls, texts and internet but not at the expense of somebody's life conditions, which is unfortunately what happens in most cases when companies outsource.


That is why I would like to know how this outsourcing is done in terms of:


- The salary of the workers there. I don't mean the actual figure but how the salary of the workers compares to the average salary in the sector, if it is enough to cover their basic needs, how giffgaff is going to make sure this is the case...


- How the working hours of the Indian agents are managed: how long do they work for everyday, if they get breaks during working hours, how many days a week they work, if they are given holidays...


- The rights and life and working conditions of the Indian agents. How are the facilities of the working centre equipped (space to work, toilets, drinking water, canteen...)? Can they join trade unions that represent their interests? Do they have access to healthcare, training and education for their children? If that is not the case right now, are there any plans to make all this possible?


Sorry if this sounds too demanding or fussy but I think that caring for the people that works for you is what really makes a company great.


Could giffgaff provide more details on this?


What do you giffgaffers think?


Thanks for reading this and for your answers.



@ oh_mega90 and how does robbie intend in reducing his carbon footprint.! but agree with u!

  • Two thirds of the mobile phone industry’s carbon footprint is the network.
  • So in effect that means GG can only reduce the carbon footprint on a 3rd of mobile usage as it has no say in how the network operates.


    Same goes for C-mobile as Orange are their network provider...


    Load of old codswallop really!


    Also why did GG feel the need to send us a text about the clocks going forward, wasting energy to inform us of something we already knew.


    Do GG think we are simpletons or something?!


    @daveysludge Could GG not help by offsetting the impact of the network? I drive with coverbox which gives a rough guidence to how much Co2 my car gives off (it uses GPS). Each year i give a donation to the woodland trust to pay for double the amount of carbon i produce. I do try carbon friendly modes of transport and drive very little but sometimes its needed. It could be done in the same way as Ecosia run ( I know GG have to make a profit but large companies like Sky etc aim to be carbon nuteral so why cant GiffGaff?

    C-mobile make me laugh, get upto £65 free credit, we will double your 1st 3 online top ups maximum £20 per top up. 3x20 is 60 not 65

    @aandms the extra £5 is a free £5 they give you when you purchase the SIM card. The SIM card costs £5 but comes with £10 credit.



    coolkeith wrote:

    ... but large companies like Sky etc aim to be carbon nuteral so why cant GiffGaff?



    ha, there is some rocket science in this argument after all


    how do they get those satellites up there, do they use methane recovered from landfill sites?



    daveysludge wrote:

    quoted: Two thirds of the mobile phone industry’s carbon footprint is the network.

    So in effect that means GG can only reduce the carbon footprint on a 3rd of mobile usage as it has no say in how the network operates.

    Same goes for C-mobile as Orange are their network provider...

    Load of old codswallop really!

    on top of that, another chunk of the energy and carbon footprint is from the manufacture and distribution of phones, so the remainder that C Mobile has scope to influence will be rather small